• My C-128 is throwing random chars

    From PaulM@3:770/3 to All on Sunday, June 28, 2020 12:34:03
    Recently my C-128 has started acting very oddly, it throws random characters as
    if I were typing them but I'm not. Sometimes it acts like I press keys even when my fingers aren't on the keyboard, and sometimes it will add random keys among the actual
    keys I am typing.

    OK, this is old hardware, and things happen... but it was flawless until now. What would be a fix for this -- does this sound like something "recapping" would address? I am pretty clueless when it comes to hardware issues.

    Is there a diagnostic image (in D64 or D71 format for an SD2IEC) out there that
    might help?

    Thanks.

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  • From Felix Palmen@3:770/3 to All on Sunday, June 28, 2020 21:59:15
    * PaulM <paul.s.macmillan@gmail.com>:
    Recently my C-128 has started acting very oddly, it throws random
    characters as if I were typing them but I'm not. Sometimes it acts
    like I press keys even when my fingers aren't on the keyboard, and
    sometimes it will add random keys among the actual keys I am typing.

    I'm a software developer with only "basic" hardware knowledge, and,
    although I own a C128, I know the C64 better, so, take the following in
    this context…

    The C128 has most of its keyboard matrix wired to a CIA (MOS 6526) I/O
    chip called CIA #1. This chip also has all its data lines directly wired
    to the control ports #1 and #2 (for joystick and/or mouse), therefore it
    is directly exposed to any electrostatics on these ports. It's known to
    break quite easily because of that. From what you describe, a broken CIA
    #1 is kind of likely. The board has two identical chips, CIA #2 controls
    the serial bus for peripherals like floppy drive, printer, etc -- IIRC
    on the C128 only in C64 compatibility mode. So, a common way to be sure
    is to exchange the two chips. If the result is keyboard/joystick/mouse
    working perfectly while peripherals start to have problems, you know
    your CIA chip is broken.

    The problem is that many boards don't have these MOS 6526 chips
    socketed, and unsoldering them without destroying them isn't a simple
    task…

    --
    Dipl.-Inform. Felix Palmen <felix@palmen-it.de> ,.//..........
    {web} http://palmen-it.de {jabber} [see email] ,//palmen-it.de
    {pgp public key} http://palmen-it.de/pub.txt // """""""""""
    {pgp fingerprint} A891 3D55 5F2E 3A74 3965 B997 3EF2 8B0A BC02 DA2A

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